Can Stress Cause Cancer?


It is difficult to discuss the relationship between stress and cancer. Firstly, because the topic of oncology in society remains largely taboo, despite the significant progress of recent years, when there were serious and public books on cancer written from the position of patients, not doctors. Secondly, because there is no unanimous opinion on this subject, and supporters of different views often react sharply and painfully to the opinions of their opponents. Thirdly, there is a great danger of frightening or, conversely, giving false hope. And yet such a conversation is necessary, and attempts to start it have been done more than once. For example, the American oncologist Carl Simonton (O. Carl Simonton) in the 1970s was actively interested in the psychological conditions and possible causes of diseases of his patients. His observations are set out in a number of books, for example, Cancer Therapy1, and confirmed by many studies. Nevertheless, the views of Karl Simonton did not become dominant in science and medicine. The French psychologist Ivan Vjart (Yvane Wiart) tried to draw attention to the possible connection between stress and cancer (see more on page 48). She studied hundreds of scientific studies that examined the relationship between stress, personality and health.And I concluded that psychological reasons can be the source of physiological mechanisms that create the prerequisites for cancer. The release of the book by Ivana Vyar Stress and cancer, when our affection plays us a cruel joke2 provoked a violent reaction in the scientific world. Oncologists with world names accused the author of almost quackery. But why, recognizing as a phenomenon of psychosomatics, we are not ready to talk about the possible psychosomatic nature of some oncological diseases?

Objective difficulties

Explanations are many. Even if we assume that the relationship between stress and cancer exists, it must be proved. And it is extremely difficult to do this for a number of quite objective reasons. "We are forced to build connections backdating, already having a diagnosis," notes oncologist psychologist Vyacheslav Ianston. - You can not put a person in a state of "before the illness." So we stay in the field of assumptions. I, like probably any of my colleagues, are able to highlight some of the psychological traits common to my patients. But it is very difficult to say whether they are the cause of cancer, or, conversely, the consequence. "Sophie Gourgou-Bourgade, a specialist in biostatistics of the Cancer Institute in Montpellier, France, points out methodological problems: "Cancer is a very delayed event that becomes visible on average 8 years after the onset of the disease. And to organize research that would trace the lives of thousands of people for years is difficult and very expensive. " There are also ethical problems. Scientists no one will allow specifically to introduce volunteers into a state of stress. Especially if this stress can become the cause of cancer in the future. And finally, the very concept of stress is also treated extremely widely. It would be nice to decide for a start with what stress is about speech.

read also "So I heard the diagnosis:" cancer "

Recognizing psychosomatics, we are afraid to apply it to cancer

Ivan Vyar, psychologist Ivan Vyar, psychologist

Employee of the University of Paris. Descartes Ivan Vyar specializes in the study of attachment theory, developed by the British psychoanalyst John Bowlby (John Bowlby). He identified various types of attachment - "safe", "anxious", "avoiding" - each of which corresponds to his own way of coping with stress.Investigating the relationship between the type of person's personality and his health, Ivan Vyar puts forward a hypothesis that the group of risk for oncological diseases includes primarily "alexithymics." They often meet a "avoiding" type of attachment. They are unable to understand, describe and even name their emotions, do not distinguish halftones, divide everything only into "good" and "bad." Thus, they are constantly in a state of psychological stress, and he initiates physiological mechanisms that increase the risk of cancer. But Ivan Vyar warns against hasty interpretations: "It would be wrong to say that personality characteristics cause cancer. In any case, it is primarily caused by physical and chemical processes. "

What stress is dangerous?

"One of the theories of cancer occurrence is that the cells provoking the development of tumors are produced in our body constantly," says oncologist Denis Romanov. - But up to a certain moment the immune system with them successfully copes. However, in a state of stress, when the immune system is weakened, the disease gets chances for development.And it can be both psycho-emotional and physical stress, for example caused by acclimatization. " Arguments in favor of this theory Denis Romanov have repeatedly been observed in the work: patients who successfully completed treatment and returned to a full-fledged life, after suffering stresses, experienced relapses of the disease. "It can not be ruled out that the primary disease can also be associated with the stresses that stress factors exert on immunity," notes Denis Romanov. "For 35 years I have seen thousands of patients and I can not help noticing the majority of them have a psychological drama in the years that preceded the manifestation of cancer," one of the leading French oncologists David Khayat unequivocally states. - Does this mean that everyone who experiences difficult emotional moments, necessarily fall ill with cancer? Of course no. The only point is that in the sequence of events that led to the disease, some elements may not have a physical character (and be associated with harmful habits or environmental factors), but an emotional, spiritual nature. And it's up to each of us to realize this and find a solution to the problem of stress in our lives. "

Vyacheslav Janston fully shares this idea.At the same time, he stresses that psychological stress can also be different. It is one thing - the shock experienced, the grief of loss or a sudden tragic event. And quite another - the accumulation of years of tension associated with the inability not only to express, but often even to realize their experiences. "Oncologists are often called cancer" a disease of unreacted grievances. " It means that negative experiences, having no way out, can at some moment cause a bodily reaction - tumor growth, - he explains. - For example, we for a long time, day in and day out, face stress factors. For example, we suffer because of difficult relationships at work or in the family and we have no way to do anything about it. Such stress, I think, is much more harmful than the stress caused by a sudden tragedy. Because how to cope with injuries, psychology is more or less known. The stages of experiencing grief are described, their mechanism is quite obvious, and after passing through these stages - better, of course, with the help of a psychologist - one can preserve both mental and physical health. But small, accumulating stress is the very case when access to experiences may simply not be. "

Read also The good deeds help with stress David Servan-Schreiber, neuroscientist, psychologist

"I had the weakness to believe that I was already protected by observing some precautions: I watched my food, cycled, meditated, and practiced yoga a little every day. I thought that this gave me the right to ignore the basic needs of my body, such as sleep, a measured rhythm of life and rest. "

"Judging by how my book was read by the readers of Antarak, the advice on nutrition pushed aside other important recommendations. In addition, these tips were the part of the book that was easiest to put into practice: it's easier to start eating fish and red berries than to change your work-related habits or your relationship with your wife. "

Excerpts from the book by David Servan-Shreiber "You can say goodbye many times" (Ripol classic, 2015).

Knockin on yourself

There are other reasons why psychologists and doctors are hesitant to talk about the connection between stress and cancer. One of them is that stating such a connection will frighten a lot of people living in a state of stress and aware of this.This fear is an additional burden on the psyche, and perhaps even on the immune system. There is a vicious circle.

Another problem is that in many cases oncological patients, believing in the psychic nature of their illness, sought the salvation from untraditional healers and shamans, sang mantras and meditated, whereas timely medical intervention would be much more effective. "About a third of my patients associate their illness with stresses or tragic events in life," says Denis Romanov. - Of course, I can neither confirm nor disprove this connection. And I do not mind that they turn to psychologists for help or, for example, go to church. But it is important to do without excesses. The approach to treatment should be comprehensive, and one can not substitute medicine only with psychological methods of work or with spiritual practices. " And yet Vyacheslav Yannston is sure that we should all be more careful about our experiences. "Our society, our whole life today is very stressful," he recalls. - And the very way of this life forces us to lock ourselves in a set of emotions that do not contribute to success at work and harmony in the family. But they can not be hidden. They need to be understood, understood and given an outlet. "

Unconscious processes influence the body, the concept of the psychosomatic nature of diseases

Vyacheslav Ianston Vyacheslav Ianston

We can talk about stress as an experience that triggers a purely unconscious mechanism. It affects us so much that various diseases result. It can not be ruled out that oncological as well. Therefore, it is extremely important to learn to recognize the signals of your body, to understand what is happening to you. You need to strive to know yourself better. Self-information, learning about yourself, constant acquaintance with yourself - that's what is needed. Through communication with other people, through an appeal to psychologists, - the means here can be different. And when you have experienced your own condition, understand your emotions, you can already express them, "react", and thereby reduce the accumulated tension and reduce the danger of the disease. There are a lot of ways to respond, it's not necessarily psychotherapy. This is an intimate life, and physical, physical activity - when the body is active, it is itself, automatically triggers the mechanisms of reaction.The main thing is to be aware of what is happening to you, to answer yourself to the question of how you feel.

There are mechanisms that are triggered under stress: they can have to develop mutations

Alexey Maschan Alexey Maschan

These include, for example, activation of calmodulin protein and hyperproduction of reactive oxygen species.

But, in comparison with the influence of other recognized and well-known oncogenic factors, the effect of stress is much weaker and, most importantly, it is not constant. Cancer as a biological phenomenon can not be prevented with the help of prevention, since its appearance is a consequence of the basic laws of the functioning of our genome. The mutational process, in particular, is vital for the formation of an adaptive immune system, without which we would die before the age of five.

It seems to me that the main message is not to stop being nervous (which, firstly, is impossible, and secondly, it will not help anyway), but that there is no direct evidence of the connection between cancer and stress.

1 C. Simonton, S. Simonton "Psychotherapy of Cancer" (Peter, 2001).
Подробнее

Can Stress Cause Cancer?


It is difficult to discuss the relationship between stress and cancer. Firstly, because the topic of oncology in society remains largely taboo, despite the significant progress of recent years, when there were serious and public books on cancer written from the position of patients, not doctors. Secondly, because there is no unanimous opinion on this subject, and supporters of different views often react sharply and painfully to the opinions of their opponents. Thirdly, there is a great danger of frightening or, conversely, giving false hope. And yet such a conversation is necessary, and attempts to start it have been done more than once. For example, the American oncologist Carl Simonton (O. Carl Simonton) in the 1970s was actively interested in the psychological conditions and possible causes of diseases of his patients. His observations are set out in a number of books, for example, Cancer Therapy1, and confirmed by many studies. Nevertheless, the views of Karl Simonton did not become dominant in science and medicine. The French psychologist Ivan Vjart (Yvane Wiart) tried to draw attention to the possible connection between stress and cancer (see more on page 48). She studied hundreds of scientific studies that examined the relationship between stress, personality and health.And I concluded that psychological reasons can be the source of physiological mechanisms that create the prerequisites for cancer. The release of the book by Ivana Vyar Stress and cancer, when our affection plays us a cruel joke2 provoked a violent reaction in the scientific world. Oncologists with world names accused the author of almost quackery. But why, recognizing as a phenomenon of psychosomatics, we are not ready to talk about the possible psychosomatic nature of some oncological diseases?

Objective difficulties

Explanations are many. Even if we assume that the relationship between stress and cancer exists, it must be proved. And it is extremely difficult to do this for a number of quite objective reasons. "We are forced to build connections backdating, already having a diagnosis," notes oncologist psychologist Vyacheslav Ianston. - You can not put a person in a state of "before the illness." So we stay in the field of assumptions. I, like probably any of my colleagues, are able to highlight some of the psychological traits common to my patients. But it is very difficult to say whether they are the cause of cancer, or, conversely, the consequence. "Sophie Gourgou-Bourgade, a specialist in biostatistics of the Cancer Institute in Montpellier, France, points out methodological problems: "Cancer is a very delayed event that becomes visible on average 8 years after the onset of the disease. And to organize research that would trace the lives of thousands of people for years is difficult and very expensive. " There are also ethical problems. Scientists no one will allow specifically to introduce volunteers into a state of stress. Especially if this stress can become the cause of cancer in the future. And finally, the very concept of stress is also treated extremely widely. It would be nice to decide for a start with what stress is about speech.

read also "So I heard the diagnosis:" cancer "

Recognizing psychosomatics, we are afraid to apply it to cancer

Ivan Vyar, psychologist Ivan Vyar, psychologist

Employee of the University of Paris. Descartes Ivan Vyar specializes in the study of attachment theory, developed by the British psychoanalyst John Bowlby (John Bowlby). He identified various types of attachment - "safe", "anxious", "avoiding" - each of which corresponds to his own way of coping with stress.Investigating the relationship between the type of person's personality and his health, Ivan Vyar puts forward a hypothesis that the group of risk for oncological diseases includes primarily "alexithymics." They often meet a "avoiding" type of attachment. They are unable to understand, describe and even name their emotions, do not distinguish halftones, divide everything only into "good" and "bad." Thus, they are constantly in a state of psychological stress, and he initiates physiological mechanisms that increase the risk of cancer. But Ivan Vyar warns against hasty interpretations: "It would be wrong to say that personality characteristics cause cancer. In any case, it is primarily caused by physical and chemical processes. "

What stress is dangerous?

"One of the theories of cancer occurrence is that the cells provoking the development of tumors are produced in our body constantly," says oncologist Denis Romanov. - But up to a certain moment the immune system with them successfully copes. However, in a state of stress, when the immune system is weakened, the disease gets chances for development.And it can be both psycho-emotional and physical stress, for example caused by acclimatization. " Arguments in favor of this theory Denis Romanov have repeatedly been observed in the work: patients who successfully completed treatment and returned to a full-fledged life, after experiencing stress, faced relapses of the disease. "It can not be ruled out that the primary disease can also be associated with the stresses that stress factors exert on immunity," notes Denis Romanov. "For 35 years I have seen thousands of patients and I can not help noticing the majority of them have a psychological drama in the years that preceded the manifestation of cancer," one of the leading French oncologists David Khayat unequivocally states. - Does this mean that everyone who experiences difficult emotional moments, necessarily fall ill with cancer? Of course no. The only point is that in the sequence of events that led to the disease, some elements may not have a physical character (and be associated with harmful habits or environmental factors), but an emotional, spiritual nature. And it's up to each of us to realize this and find a solution to the problem of stress in our lives. "

Vyacheslav Janston fully shares this idea.At the same time, he stresses that psychological stress can also be different. It is one thing - the shock experienced, the grief of loss or a sudden tragic event. And quite another - the accumulation of years of tension associated with the inability not only to express, but often even to realize their experiences. "Oncologists are often called cancer" a disease of unreacted grievances. " It means that negative experiences, having no way out, can at some moment cause a bodily reaction - tumor growth, - he explains. - For example, we for a long time, day in and day out, face stress factors. For example, we suffer because of difficult relationships at work or in the family and we have no way to do anything about it. Such stress, I think, is much more harmful than the stress caused by a sudden tragedy. Because how to cope with injuries, psychology is more or less known. The stages of experiencing grief are described, their mechanism is quite obvious, and after passing through these stages - better, of course, with the help of a psychologist - one can preserve both mental and physical health. But small, accumulating stress is the very case when access to experiences may simply not be. "

Read also The good deeds help with stress David Servan-Schreiber, neuroscientist, psychologist

"I had the weakness to believe that I was already protected by observing some precautions: I watched my food, cycled, meditated, and practiced yoga a little every day. I thought that this gave me the right to ignore the basic needs of my body, such as sleep, a measured rhythm of life and rest. "

"Judging by how my book was read by the readers of Antarak, the advice on nutrition pushed aside other important recommendations. In addition, these tips were the part of the book that was easiest to put into practice: it's easier to start eating fish and red berries than to change your work-related habits or your relationship with your wife. "

Excerpts from the book by David Servan-Shreiber "You can say goodbye many times" (Ripol classic, 2015).

Knockin on yourself

There are other reasons why psychologists and doctors are hesitant to talk about the connection between stress and cancer. One of them is that stating such a connection will frighten a lot of people living in a state of stress and aware of this.This fear is an additional burden on the psyche, and perhaps even on the immune system. There is a vicious circle.

Another problem is that in many cases oncological patients, believing in the psychic nature of their illness, sought the salvation from untraditional healers and shamans, sang mantras and meditated, whereas timely medical intervention would be much more effective. "About a third of my patients associate their illness with stresses or tragic events in life," says Denis Romanov. - Of course, I can neither confirm nor disprove this connection. And I do not mind that they turn to psychologists for help or, for example, go to church. But it is important to do without excesses. The approach to treatment should be comprehensive, and one can not substitute medicine only with psychological methods of work or with spiritual practices. " And yet Vyacheslav Yannston is sure that we should all be more careful about our experiences. "Our society, our whole life today is very stressful," he recalls. - And the very way of this life forces us to lock ourselves in a set of emotions that do not contribute to success at work and harmony in the family. But they can not be hidden. They need to be understood, understood and given an outlet. "

Unconscious processes influence the body, the concept of the psychosomatic nature of diseases

Vyacheslav Ianston Vyacheslav Ianston

We can talk about stress as an experience that triggers a purely unconscious mechanism. It affects us so much that various diseases result. It can not be ruled out that oncological as well. Therefore, it is extremely important to learn to recognize the signals of your body, to understand what is happening to you. You need to strive to know yourself better. Self-information, learning about yourself, constant acquaintance with yourself - that's what is needed. Through communication with other people, through an appeal to psychologists, - the means here can be different. And when you have experienced your own condition, understand your emotions, you can already express them, "react", and thereby reduce the accumulated tension and reduce the danger of the disease. There are a lot of ways to respond, it's not necessarily psychotherapy. This is an intimate life, and physical, physical activity - when the body is active, it is itself, automatically triggers the mechanisms of reaction.The main thing is to be aware of what is happening to you, to answer yourself to the question of how you feel.

There are mechanisms that are triggered under stress: they can have to develop mutations

Alexey Maschan Alexey Maschan

These include, for example, activation of calmodulin protein and hyperproduction of reactive oxygen species.

But, in comparison with the influence of other recognized and well-known oncogenic factors, the effect of stress is much weaker and, most importantly, it is not constant. Cancer as a biological phenomenon can not be prevented with the help of prevention, since its appearance is a consequence of the basic laws of the functioning of our genome. The mutational process, in particular, is vital for the formation of an adaptive immune system, without which we would die before the age of five.

It seems to me that the main message is not to stop being nervous (which, firstly, is impossible, and secondly, it will not help anyway), but that there is no direct evidence of the connection between cancer and stress.

1 C. Simonton, S. Simonton "Psychotherapy of Cancer" (Peter, 2001).
Подробнее

Can Stress Cause Cancer?


It is difficult to discuss the relationship between stress and cancer. Firstly, because the topic of oncology in society remains largely taboo, despite the significant progress of recent years, when there were serious and public books on cancer written from the position of patients, not doctors. Secondly, because there is no unanimous opinion on this subject, and supporters of different views often react sharply and painfully to the opinions of their opponents. Thirdly, there is a great danger of frightening or, conversely, giving false hope. And yet such a conversation is necessary, and attempts to start it have been done more than once. For example, the American oncologist Carl Simonton (O. Carl Simonton) in the 1970s was actively interested in the psychological conditions and possible causes of diseases of his patients. His observations are set out in a number of books, for example, Cancer Therapy1, and confirmed by many studies. Nevertheless, the views of Karl Simonton did not become dominant in science and medicine. The French psychologist Ivan Vjart (Yvane Wiart) tried to draw attention to the possible connection between stress and cancer (see more on page 48). She studied hundreds of scientific studies that examined the relationship between stress, personality and health.And I concluded that psychological reasons can be the source of physiological mechanisms that create the prerequisites for cancer. The release of the book by Ivana Vyar Stress and cancer, when our affection plays us a cruel joke2 provoked a violent reaction in the scientific world. Oncologists with world names accused the author of almost quackery. But why, recognizing as a phenomenon of psychosomatics, we are not ready to talk about the possible psychosomatic nature of some oncological diseases?

Objective difficulties

Explanations are many. Even if we assume that the relationship between stress and cancer exists, it must be proved. And it is extremely difficult to do this for a number of quite objective reasons. "We are forced to build connections backdating, already having a diagnosis," notes oncologist psychologist Vyacheslav Ianston. - You can not put a person in a state of "before the illness." So we stay in the field of assumptions. I, like probably any of my colleagues, are able to highlight some of the psychological traits common to my patients. But it is very difficult to say whether they are the cause of cancer, or, conversely, the consequence. "Sophie Gourgou-Bourgade, a specialist in biostatistics of the Cancer Institute in Montpellier, France, points out methodological problems: "Cancer is a very delayed event that becomes visible on average 8 years after the onset of the disease. And to organize research that would trace the lives of thousands of people for years is difficult and very expensive. " There are also ethical problems. Scientists no one will allow specifically to introduce volunteers into a state of stress. Especially if this stress can become the cause of cancer in the future. And finally, the very concept of stress is also treated extremely widely. It would be nice to decide for a start with what stress is about speech.

read also "So I heard the diagnosis:" cancer "

Recognizing psychosomatics, we are afraid to apply it to cancer

Ivan Vyar, psychologist Ivan Vyar, psychologist

Employee of the University of Paris. Descartes Ivan Vyar specializes in the study of attachment theory, developed by the British psychoanalyst John Bowlby (John Bowlby). He identified various types of attachment - "safe", "anxious", "avoiding" - each of which corresponds to his own way of coping with stress.Investigating the relationship between the type of person's personality and his health, Ivan Vyar puts forward a hypothesis that the group of risk for oncological diseases includes primarily "alexithymics." They often meet a "avoiding" type of attachment. They are unable to understand, describe and even name their emotions, do not distinguish halftones, divide everything only into "good" and "bad." Thus, they are constantly in a state of psychological stress, and he initiates physiological mechanisms that increase the risk of cancer. But Ivan Vyar warns against hasty interpretations: "It would be wrong to say that personality characteristics cause cancer. In any case, it is primarily caused by physical and chemical processes. "

What stress is dangerous?

"One of the theories of cancer occurrence is that the cells provoking the development of tumors are produced in our body constantly," says oncologist Denis Romanov. - But up to a certain moment the immune system with them successfully copes. However, in a state of stress, when the immune system is weakened, the disease gets chances for development.And it can be both psycho-emotional and physical stress, for example caused by acclimatization. " Arguments in favor of this theory Denis Romanov have repeatedly been observed in the work: patients who successfully completed treatment and returned to a full-fledged life, after experiencing stress, faced relapses of the disease. "It can not be ruled out that the primary disease can also be associated with the stresses that stress factors exert on immunity," notes Denis Romanov. "For 35 years I have seen thousands of patients and I can not help noticing the majority of them have a psychological drama in the years that preceded the manifestation of cancer," one of the leading French oncologists David Khayat unequivocally states. - Does this mean that everyone who experiences difficult emotional moments, necessarily fall ill with cancer? Of course no. The only point is that in the sequence of events that led to the disease, some elements may not have a physical character (and be associated with harmful habits or environmental factors), but an emotional, spiritual nature. And it's up to each of us to realize this and find a solution to the problem of stress in our lives. "

Vyacheslav Janston fully shares this idea.At the same time, he stresses that psychological stress can also be different. It is one thing - the shock experienced, the grief of loss or a sudden tragic event. And quite another - the accumulation of years of tension associated with the inability not only to express, but often even to realize their experiences. "Oncologists are often called cancer" a disease of unreacted grievances. " It means that negative experiences, having no way out, can at some moment cause a bodily reaction - tumor growth, - he explains. - For example, we for a long time, day in and day out, face stress factors. For example, we suffer because of difficult relationships at work or in the family and we have no way to do anything about it. Such stress, I think, is much more harmful than the stress caused by a sudden tragedy. Because how to cope with injuries, psychology is more or less known. The stages of experiencing grief are described, their mechanism is quite obvious, and after passing through these stages - better, of course, with the help of a psychologist - one can preserve both mental and physical health. But small, accumulating stress is the very case when access to experiences may simply not be. "

Read also The good deeds help with stress David Servan-Schreiber, neuroscientist, psychologist

"I had the weakness to believe that I was already protected by observing some precautions: I watched my food, cycled, meditated, and practiced yoga a little every day. I thought that this gave me the right to ignore the basic needs of my body, such as sleep, a measured rhythm of life and rest. "

"Judging by how my book was read by the readers of Antarak, the advice on nutrition pushed aside other important recommendations. In addition, these tips were the part of the book that was easiest to put into practice: it's easier to start eating fish and red berries than to change your work-related habits or your relationship with your wife. "

Excerpts from the book by David Servan-Shreiber "You can say goodbye many times" (Ripol classic, 2015).

Knockin on yourself

There are other reasons why psychologists and doctors are hesitant to talk about the connection between stress and cancer. One of them is that stating such a connection will frighten a lot of people living in a state of stress and aware of this.This fear is an additional burden on the psyche, and perhaps even on the immune system. There is a vicious circle.

Another problem is that in many cases oncological patients, believing in the psychic nature of their illness, sought the salvation from untraditional healers and shamans, sang mantras and meditated, whereas timely medical intervention would be much more effective. "About a third of my patients associate their illness with stresses or tragic events in life," says Denis Romanov. - Of course, I can neither confirm nor disprove this connection. And I do not mind that they turn to psychologists for help or, for example, go to church. But it is important to do without excesses. The approach to treatment should be comprehensive, and one can not substitute medicine only with psychological methods of work or with spiritual practices. " And yet Vyacheslav Yannston is sure that we should all be more careful about our experiences. "Our society, our whole life today is very stressful," he recalls. - And the very way of this life forces us to lock ourselves in a set of emotions that do not contribute to success at work and harmony in the family. But they can not be hidden. They need to be understood, understood and given an outlet. "

Unconscious processes influence the body, the concept of the psychosomatic nature of diseases

Vyacheslav Ianston Vyacheslav Ianston

We can talk about stress as an experience that triggers a purely unconscious mechanism. It affects us so much that various diseases result. It can not be ruled out that oncological as well. Therefore, it is extremely important to learn to recognize the signals of your body, to understand what is happening to you. You need to strive to know yourself better. Self-information, learning about yourself, constant acquaintance with yourself - that's what is needed. Through communication with other people, through an appeal to psychologists, - the means here can be different. And when you have experienced your own condition, understand your emotions, you can already express them, "react", and thereby reduce the accumulated tension and reduce the danger of the disease. There are a lot of ways to respond, it's not necessarily psychotherapy. This is an intimate life, and physical, physical activity - when the body is active, it is itself, automatically triggers the mechanisms of reaction.The main thing is to be aware of what is happening to you, to answer yourself to the question of how you feel.

There are mechanisms that are triggered under stress: they can have to develop mutations

Alexey Maschan Alexey Maschan

These include, for example, activation of calmodulin protein and hyperproduction of reactive oxygen species.

But, in comparison with the influence of other recognized and well-known oncogenic factors, the effect of stress is much weaker and, most importantly, it is not constant. Cancer as a biological phenomenon can not be prevented with the help of prevention, since its appearance is a consequence of the basic laws of the functioning of our genome. The mutational process, in particular, is vital for the formation of an adaptive immune system, without which we would die before the age of five.

It seems to me that the main message is not to stop being nervous (which, firstly, is impossible, and secondly, it will not help anyway), but that there is no direct evidence of the connection between cancer and stress.

1 C. Simonton, S. Simonton "Psychotherapy of Cancer" (Peter, 2001).
Подробнее

Can Stress Cause Cancer?


It is difficult to discuss the relationship between stress and cancer. Firstly, because the topic of oncology in society remains largely taboo, despite the significant progress of recent years, when there were serious and public books on cancer written from the position of patients, not doctors. Secondly, because there is no unanimous opinion on this subject, and supporters of different views often react sharply and painfully to the opinions of their opponents. Thirdly, there is a great danger of frightening or, conversely, giving false hope. And yet such a conversation is necessary, and attempts to start it have been done more than once. For example, the American oncologist Carl Simonton (O. Carl Simonton) in the 1970s was actively interested in the psychological conditions and possible causes of diseases of his patients. His observations are set out in a number of books, for example, Cancer Therapy1, and confirmed by many studies. Nevertheless, the views of Karl Simonton did not become dominant in science and medicine. The French psychologist Ivan Vjart (Yvane Wiart) tried to draw attention to the possible connection between stress and cancer (see more on page 48). She studied hundreds of scientific studies that examined the relationship between stress, personality and health.And I concluded that psychological reasons can be the source of physiological mechanisms that create the prerequisites for cancer. The release of the book by Ivana Vyar Stress and cancer, when our affection plays us a cruel joke2 provoked a violent reaction in the scientific world. Oncologists with world names accused the author of almost quackery. But why, recognizing as a phenomenon of psychosomatics, we are not ready to talk about the possible psychosomatic nature of some oncological diseases?

Objective difficulties

Explanations are many. Even if we assume that the relationship between stress and cancer exists, it must be proved. And it is extremely difficult to do this for a number of quite objective reasons. "We are forced to build connections backdating, already having a diagnosis," notes oncologist psychologist Vyacheslav Ianston. - You can not put a person in a state of "before the illness." So we stay in the field of assumptions. I, like probably any of my colleagues, are able to highlight some of the psychological traits common to my patients. But it is very difficult to say whether they are the cause of cancer, or, conversely, the consequence. "Sophie Gourgou-Bourgade, a specialist in biostatistics of the Cancer Institute in Montpellier, France, points out methodological problems: "Cancer is a very delayed event that becomes visible on average 8 years after the onset of the disease. And to organize research that would trace the lives of thousands of people for years is difficult and very expensive. " There are also ethical problems. Scientists no one will allow specifically to introduce volunteers into a state of stress. Especially if this stress can become the cause of cancer in the future. And finally, the very concept of stress is also treated extremely widely. It would be nice to decide for a start with what stress is about speech.

read also "So I heard the diagnosis:" cancer "

Recognizing psychosomatics, we are afraid to apply it to cancer

Ivan Vyar, psychologist Ivan Vyar, psychologist

Employee of the University of Paris. Descartes Ivan Vyar specializes in the study of attachment theory, developed by the British psychoanalyst John Bowlby (John Bowlby). He identified various types of attachment - "safe", "anxious", "avoiding" - each of which corresponds to his own way of coping with stress.Investigating the relationship between the type of person's personality and his health, Ivan Vyar puts forward a hypothesis that the group of risk for oncological diseases includes primarily "alexithymics." They often meet a "avoiding" type of attachment. They are unable to understand, describe and even name their emotions, do not distinguish halftones, divide everything only into "good" and "bad." Thus, they are constantly in a state of psychological stress, and he initiates physiological mechanisms that increase the risk of cancer. But Ivan Vyar warns against hasty interpretations: "It would be wrong to say that personality characteristics cause cancer. In any case, it is primarily caused by physical and chemical processes. "

What stress is dangerous?

"One of the theories of cancer occurrence is that the cells provoking the development of tumors are produced in our body constantly," says oncologist Denis Romanov. - But up to a certain moment the immune system with them successfully copes. However, in a state of stress, when the immune system is weakened, the disease gets chances for development.And it can be both psycho-emotional and physical stress, for example caused by acclimatization. " Arguments in favor of this theory Denis Romanov have repeatedly been observed in the work: patients who successfully completed treatment and returned to a full-fledged life, after experiencing stress, faced relapses of the disease. "It can not be ruled out that the primary disease can also be associated with the stresses that stress factors exert on immunity," notes Denis Romanov. "For 35 years I have seen thousands of patients and I can not help noticing the majority of them have a psychological drama in the years that preceded the manifestation of cancer," one of the leading French oncologists David Khayat unequivocally states. - Does this mean that everyone who experiences difficult emotional moments, necessarily fall ill with cancer? Of course no. The only point is that in the sequence of events that led to the disease, some elements may not have a physical character (and be associated with harmful habits or environmental factors), but an emotional, spiritual nature. And it's up to each of us to realize this and find a solution to the problem of stress in our lives. "

Vyacheslav Janston fully shares this idea.At the same time, he stresses that psychological stress can also be different. It is one thing - the shock experienced, the grief of loss or a sudden tragic event. And quite another - the accumulation of years of tension associated with the inability not only to express, but often even to realize their experiences. "Oncologists are often called cancer" a disease of unreacted grievances. " It means that negative experiences, having no way out, can at some moment cause a bodily reaction - tumor growth, - he explains. - For example, we for a long time, day in and day out, face stress factors. For example, we suffer because of difficult relationships at work or in the family and we have no way to do anything about it. Such stress, I think, is much more harmful than the stress caused by a sudden tragedy. Because how to cope with injuries, psychology is more or less known. The stages of experiencing grief are described, their mechanism is quite obvious, and after passing through these stages - better, of course, with the help of a psychologist - one can preserve both mental and physical health. But small, accumulating stress is the very case when access to experiences may simply not be. "

Read also The good deeds help with stress David Servan-Schreiber, neuroscientist, psychologist

"I had the weakness to believe that I was already protected by observing some precautions: I watched my food, cycled, meditated, and practiced yoga a little every day. I thought that this gave me the right to ignore the basic needs of my body, such as sleep, a measured rhythm of life and rest. "

"Judging by how my book was read by the readers of Antarak, the advice on nutrition pushed aside other important recommendations. In addition, these tips were the part of the book that was easiest to put into practice: it's easier to start eating fish and red berries than to change your work-related habits or your relationship with your wife. "

Excerpts from the book by David Servan-Shreiber "You can say goodbye many times" (Ripol classic, 2015).

Knockin on yourself

There are other reasons why psychologists and doctors are hesitant to talk about the connection between stress and cancer. One of them is that stating such a connection will frighten a lot of people living in a state of stress and aware of this.This fear is an additional burden on the psyche, and perhaps even on the immune system. There is a vicious circle.

Another problem is that in many cases oncological patients, believing in the psychic nature of their illness, sought the salvation from untraditional healers and shamans, sang mantras and meditated, whereas timely medical intervention would be much more effective. "About a third of my patients associate their illness with stresses or tragic events in life," says Denis Romanov. - Of course, I can neither confirm nor disprove this connection. And I do not mind that they turn to psychologists for help or, for example, go to church. But it is important to do without excesses. The approach to treatment should be comprehensive, and one can not substitute medicine only with psychological methods of work or with spiritual practices. " And yet Vyacheslav Yannston is sure that we should all be more careful about our experiences. "Our society, our whole life today is very stressful," he recalls. - And the very way of this life forces us to lock ourselves in a set of emotions that do not contribute to success at work and harmony in the family. But they can not be hidden. They need to be understood, understood and given an outlet. "

Unconscious processes influence the body, the concept of the psychosomatic nature of diseases

Vyacheslav Ianston Vyacheslav Ianston

We can talk about stress as an experience that triggers a purely unconscious mechanism. It affects us so much that various diseases result. It can not be ruled out that oncological as well. Therefore, it is extremely important to learn to recognize the signals of your body, to understand what is happening to you. You need to strive to know yourself better. Self-information, learning about yourself, constant acquaintance with yourself - that's what is needed. Through communication with other people, through an appeal to psychologists, - the means here can be different. And when you have experienced your own condition, understand your emotions, you can already express them, "react", and thereby reduce the accumulated tension and reduce the danger of the disease. There are a lot of ways to respond, it's not necessarily psychotherapy. This is an intimate life, and physical, physical activity - when the body is active, it is itself, automatically triggers the mechanisms of reaction.The main thing is to be aware of what is happening to you, to answer yourself to the question of how you feel.

There are mechanisms that are triggered under stress: they can have to develop mutations

Alexey Maschan Alexey Maschan

These include, for example, activation of calmodulin protein and hyperproduction of reactive oxygen species.

But, in comparison with the influence of other recognized and well-known oncogenic factors, the effect of stress is much weaker and, most importantly, it is not constant. Cancer as a biological phenomenon can not be prevented with the help of prevention, since its appearance is a consequence of the basic laws of the functioning of our genome. The mutational process, in particular, is vital for the formation of an adaptive immune system, without which we would die before the age of five.

It seems to me that the main message is not to stop being nervous (which, firstly, is impossible, and secondly, it will not help anyway), but that there is no direct evidence of the connection between cancer and stress.

1 C. Simonton, S. Simonton "Psychotherapy of Cancer" (Peter, 2001).
Подробнее

Conflict at work: how to get out of it with honor


In the working environment, confrontation is part of the production process, and most often local skirmishes are quick and quite correct: both sides understand their role and are guided by the result. As a result, labor conflicts already contain a grain of compromise, which you just need to find. But sometimes we have to face those who "play dirty", using in the work situation the methods of domestic scandal: the transition to personalities, veiled or direct insults and substitution of concepts. Does everything to turn a constructive conversation into a domestic swara. What are the causes of this kind of conflict?

What the aggressor stands for

"A person who voluntarily enters into a conflict communication, as a rule, already experienced a sense of humiliation," says psychologist Anatoly Dobin. Such a feeling, unfortunately, was experienced by almost everyone, but for some people the experience of humiliation is devastating. For example, if it is received in childhood, from significant for the child people.

"Such people," Anatoly Dobin continues, "are characterized by suspicion and the desire to constantly control their surroundings. Their goal is not to allow a repeat of the humiliation of their personality. "Unfortunately, this manifests itself as touchiness and a tendency to see an attack where it does not exist. When such a person comes with work proposals, he can take them for trying to belittle him as a person and a professional.

There is a conflict, but not of interests, but of ideas about the situation. While one of the participants in the production conflict believes that we are talking about working moments that need to be discussed and moved on, the other believes that his honor and dignity are in danger, and therefore they must be defended immediately. Degrading someone else's dignity.

The aim of the aggressor is to offend, to find the sensitive string of the interlocutor

In the course are gender stereotypes ("women do not understand anything"), insults on the basis of age ("still young tell me"), hints of incompetence ("ponabrali by declaration") or someone's protection ("daddy attached"). It can be straightforward and rude or veiled, but it's no less offensive. For the aggressor there are no forbidden subjects, and sooner or later he achieves his: by hitting a sensitive string, finally drags his interlocutor from the working situation into a domestic conflict.

One should at least answer an insult with an insult or even just show that the words have touched you, and the aggressor can celebrate the victory: the working theme is forgotten, the result is not achieved, but nerves are shattered and human dignity is humiliated.

There is only one way to get out of this situation with honor: do not enter into it. However, we are not talking about avoiding confrontation. The way to resolve the professional conflict is to consistently strive to keep the situation within the framework of working negotiations. Let the other try to offend you or hurt you, you must achieve the result, and only this matters. First of all, you need to keep yourself in hand.

How to avoid conflict

"If you lost control of yourself - you lost everything," says psychologist Robert Bakel of the University of Toronto. - Manipulative behavior is aimed at causing you an emotional reaction, to force you to behave aggressively or, on the contrary, to defend yourself. If we lose our composure, we do exactly what the manipulators want us to do. And we lose because we enter the game, which is impossible to win. Self-control is mandatory, and this is precisely the control of behavior.You can get angry or upset if this is your choice, but you have to follow your behavior. "

Dr. Bakel offers several simple rules, following which a polite, educated, socialized person can emerge victorious from a labor conflict with an aggressive manipulator.

Do not rush to answer. Before you come into conflict at work, think about how you can deal with the situation, experiencing and causing a minimum of unpleasant emotions. Only then act.

Conflict at work: how to get out of it with honor

Yes, this means that you must take care not only of your feelings, but also of the feelings of your interlocutor. Remember that he is a man, even if he behaves inappropriately. That he, too, might be hurt. Moreover, it hurts right now, and let it not be your fault, in your power not to aggravate his suffering.

Pay attention to the speed and volume of your speech. The excited person is inclined to speak faster and louder, forcing the interlocutor also to raise his voice. The faster the speech, the less thought in it and the higher the probability that something irreparable will be said. Do not hurry. Weigh your words.

If possible, take a timeout.This does not mean that you need to evade the conflict, rather - to postpone it. If you see that your opponent is seething with negative emotions, ask him to postpone the conversation. "I'm not ready to talk to you about this now. Let's schedule a meeting for tomorrow. " So you get time to prepare, and your opponent - the time to cool down. In addition, because the conflict occurs in the team and in front of colleagues, perhaps some of them use their influence to calm the aggressor.

Do not take chances. Sometimes it seems to us that with one well-aimed blow-for example, by a good joke or especially murderous argument-you can end the confrontation. But the fact that it works so well in sitcoms, very rarely works in life. Be correct and do not try to end everything in one fell swoop.

Focus on the result. We get what we focus on. If someone behaves aggressively and provokes you to a conflict, you can concentrate on insults, and then they will only become more. And you can translate the conversation into a constructive channel, leaving provocations and insults behind the scenes. And this leads us to the main recommendation.

Words that will help in confrontation
  • "Yes".Even arguments against the need to start with the word "yes" - a person tend to calm down when they agree with him.
  • "We". We are not "we are against you", but "we are with you". Try to include yourself and the other party to the conflict in one social group: people are easier on the side of the representatives of "their tribe."
  • "I understand that you are upset" - in response to all attempts to offend you. So you simultaneously reject the insult and grant him forgiveness.
  • "It's really not easy" and other phrases that will show: you realize that your opponent is living hard, but the situation requires additional efforts.
  • "I heard you / a" - an almost forbidden reception. Use only if the negative argument has gone around in a circle, and the circle is the third.
  • "Let's both take a timeout and meet in an hour (at three, tomorrow at ten)" - if you understand that the interlocutor lost touch with reality under the onslaught of emotion.

Do not grab the "bait". "Bait" are words that have no other purpose than to force you to lose self-control, control over yourself and over the course of the conversation. Out of yourself, you give the reins of government in the hands of a person who is not inclined to take care of your interests.All curses, all insults, all sexist, racist remarks are "baits" designed to distract us from the essence of the working conflict. The answer to them is simple: "I understand that you are upset, but the work must be done."

Do not succumb. Do not answer blow to blow. Do not pretend that you generally noticed this blow. All you need is to bend your line.

Yes. This is hard. The person who is now trying to hurt you can be cruel. But it's up to you to decide whether his attempts will succeed. Only you decide whether you really hurt. By the way, the pain will subside as soon as you achieve your goal: for example, promises to work towards the environment, provide technical support or give financing. The result is an amazing healer for a wounded soul, and only he, by and large, matters. Of course, if it's about work, not about love.

Read also Problems at work: the key - in family history?Problems at work: the key - in family history?

Are you created precisely for what you are doing now? How do the hopes and failures of your parents and your ancestors in general affect your well-being? Here are four situations and practical solutions to make your life easier.

Mothers and Sons: Why such love?Mothers and Sons: Why such love?

This connection intrigues us with its strength and ambiguity. Neither association with Oedipus nor the classic image of an authoritarian mother is capable of exhausting her secret. We investigate the phenomenon and listen to the stories of Goshi Kutsenko, Eugene Kiselev and their mothers.

Text: Elena Lomakina Photo source: Getty Images
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Nature therapy does not suit everyone?


The answer to this question is not as simple as it seems. Psychologists Kevin Newman (Kevin Newman) and Merry Brooks (Merrie Brucks) found that the calming effect of wildlife does not apply to everyone. Those who were born and raised in the city can be stressed by sharp sensory deprivation - in a situation where the noise level is below the usual, and the eyes can not concentrate on familiar images.

The researchers asked the volunteers to fill out the Eysenck test - a questionnaire of twelve items, which is widely used to determine the extent of neuroticism. He assesses the presence in a person of such qualities as anxiety, a tendency to excessive analysis, envy, loneliness. Before the test, some participants were shown pictures of the rural landscape, others - urban landscapes.

Contrary to expectations, it turned out that the situations associated with increased anxiety, people with a high degree of neuroticism seemed more soothing. Newman and Brooks decided to check this conjecture and invited the participants of the experiment to listen to the sound of the surf, which was replaced by car horns.It turned out that the subjects did not find the sounds of the whistles annoying. On some, they acted even soothingly.

Does this mean that each of us is a prisoner of his environment and can comfortably exist only in conditions familiar to him? "It's true that we feel well surrounded by familiar sounds and images," Newman explains. - But not always and not for all the city is associated with endless noise and vanity, as well as village life - with silence and slow pace. A person with a high degree of neuroticism can enjoy a stay in nature. But for him an ideal rest should include more familiar elements. "

How to get the maximum benefit from rest? First of all - to evaluate your character, your habits. Look for the balance between noise and silence, which is right for you. The inhabitant of a metropolis need not necessarily leave for kilometers from the city, settle in a lonely hut in the mountains or wander through the forest. Someone will be useful to just go to the park near the boiling highways. And someone will find peace in a small bookshop or a cozy cafe, where you can slowly watch the cars gliding outside the window.

1 Journal of Consumer Psychology, online publication of March 11, 2016.
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Can Stress Cause Cancer?


It is difficult to discuss the relationship between stress and cancer. Firstly, because the topic of oncology in society remains largely taboo, despite the significant progress of recent years, when there were serious and public books on cancer written from the position of patients, not doctors. Secondly, because there is no unanimous opinion on this subject, and supporters of different views often react sharply and painfully to the opinions of their opponents. Thirdly, there is a great danger of frightening or, conversely, giving false hope. And yet such a conversation is necessary, and attempts to start it have been done more than once. For example, the American oncologist Carl Simonton (O. Carl Simonton) in the 1970s was actively interested in the psychological conditions and possible causes of diseases of his patients. His observations are set out in a number of books, for example, Cancer Therapy1, and confirmed by many studies. Nevertheless, the views of Karl Simonton did not become dominant in science and medicine. The French psychologist Ivan Vjart (Yvane Wiart) tried to draw attention to the possible connection between stress and cancer (see more on page 48). She studied hundreds of scientific studies that examined the relationship between stress, personality and health.And I concluded that psychological reasons can be the source of physiological mechanisms that create the prerequisites for cancer. The release of the book by Ivana Vyar Stress and cancer, when our affection plays us a cruel joke2 provoked a violent reaction in the scientific world. Oncologists with world names accused the author of almost quackery. But why, recognizing as a phenomenon of psychosomatics, we are not ready to talk about the possible psychosomatic nature of some oncological diseases?

Objective difficulties

Explanations are many. Even if we assume that the relationship between stress and cancer exists, it must be proved. And it is extremely difficult to do this for a number of quite objective reasons. "We are forced to build connections backdating, already having a diagnosis," notes oncologist psychologist Vyacheslav Ianston. - You can not put a person in a state of "before the illness." So we stay in the field of assumptions. I, like probably any of my colleagues, are able to highlight some of the psychological traits common to my patients. But it is very difficult to say whether they are the cause of cancer, or, conversely, the consequence. "Sophie Gourgou-Bourgade, a specialist in biostatistics of the Cancer Institute in Montpellier, France, points out methodological problems: "Cancer is a very delayed event that becomes visible on average 8 years after the onset of the disease. And to organize research that would trace the lives of thousands of people for years is difficult and very expensive. " There are also ethical problems. Scientists no one will allow specifically to introduce volunteers into a state of stress. Especially if this stress can become the cause of cancer in the future. And finally, the very concept of stress is also treated extremely widely. It would be nice to decide for a start with what stress is about speech.

read also "So I heard the diagnosis:" cancer "

Recognizing psychosomatics, we are afraid to apply it to cancer

Ivan Vyar, psychologist Ivan Vyar, psychologist

Employee of the University of Paris. Descartes Ivan Vyar specializes in the study of attachment theory, developed by the British psychoanalyst John Bowlby (John Bowlby). He identified various types of attachment - "safe", "anxious", "avoiding" - each of which corresponds to his own way of coping with stress.Investigating the relationship between the type of person's personality and his health, Ivan Vyar puts forward a hypothesis that the group of risk for oncological diseases includes primarily "alexithymics." They often meet a "avoiding" type of attachment. They are unable to understand, describe and even name their emotions, do not distinguish between halftones, divide everything only into "good" and "bad." Thus, they are constantly in a state of psychological stress, and he initiates physiological mechanisms that increase the risk of cancer. But Ivan Vyar warns against hasty interpretations: "It would be wrong to say that personality characteristics cause cancer. In any case, it is primarily caused by physical and chemical processes. "

What stress is dangerous?

"One of the theories of cancer occurrence is that the cells provoking the development of tumors are produced in our body constantly," says oncologist Denis Romanov. - But up to a certain moment the immune system with them successfully copes. However, in a state of stress, when the immune system is weakened, the disease gets chances for development.And it can be both psycho-emotional and physical stress, for example caused by acclimatization. " Arguments in favor of this theory Denis Romanov have repeatedly been observed in the work: patients who successfully completed treatment and returned to a full-fledged life, after experiencing stress, faced relapses of the disease. "It can not be ruled out that the primary disease can also be associated with the stresses that stress factors exert on immunity," notes Denis Romanov. "For 35 years I have seen thousands of patients and I can not help noticing the majority of them have a psychological drama in the years that preceded the manifestation of cancer," one of the leading French oncologists David Khayat unequivocally states. - Does this mean that everyone who experiences difficult emotional moments, necessarily fall ill with cancer? Of course no. The only point is that in the sequence of events that led to the disease, some elements may not have a physical character (and be associated with harmful habits or environmental factors), but an emotional, spiritual nature. And it's up to each of us to realize this and find a solution to the problem of stress in our lives. "

Vyacheslav Janston fully shares this idea.At the same time, he stresses that psychological stress can also be different. It is one thing - the shock experienced, the grief of loss or a sudden tragic event. And quite another - the accumulation of years of tension associated with the inability not only to express, but often even to realize their experiences. "Oncologists are often called cancer" a disease of unreacted grievances. " It means that negative experiences, having no way out, can at some moment cause a bodily reaction - tumor growth, - he explains. - For example, we for a long time, day in and day out, face stress factors. For example, we suffer because of difficult relationships at work or in the family and we have no way to do anything about it. Such stress, I think, is much more harmful than the stress caused by a sudden tragedy. Because how to cope with injuries, psychology is more or less known. The stages of experiencing grief are described, their mechanism is quite obvious, and after passing through these stages - better, of course, with the help of a psychologist - one can preserve both mental and physical health. But small, accumulating stress is the very case when access to experiences may simply not be. "

Read also The good deeds help with stress David Servan-Schreiber, neuroscientist, psychologist

"I had the weakness to believe that I was already protected by observing some precautions: I watched my food, cycled, meditated, and practiced yoga a little every day. I thought that this gave me the right to ignore the basic needs of my body, such as sleep, a measured rhythm of life and rest. "

"Judging by how my book was read by the readers of Antarak, the advice on nutrition pushed aside other important recommendations. In addition, these tips were the part of the book that was easiest to put into practice: it's easier to start eating fish and red berries than to change your work-related habits or your relationship with your wife. "

Excerpts from the book by David Servan-Shreiber "You can say goodbye many times" (Ripol classic, 2015).

Knockin on yourself

There are other reasons why psychologists and doctors are hesitant to talk about the connection between stress and cancer. One of them is that stating such a connection will frighten a lot of people living in a state of stress and aware of this.This fear is an additional burden on the psyche, and perhaps even on the immune system. There is a vicious circle.

Another problem is that in many cases oncological patients, believing in the psychic nature of their illness, sought the salvation from untraditional healers and shamans, sang mantras and meditated, whereas timely medical intervention would be much more effective. "About a third of my patients associate their illness with stresses or tragic events in life," says Denis Romanov. - Of course, I can neither confirm nor disprove this connection. And I do not mind that they turn to psychologists for help or, for example, go to church. But it is important to do without excesses. The approach to treatment should be comprehensive, and one can not substitute medicine only with psychological methods of work or with spiritual practices. " And yet Vyacheslav Yannston is sure that we should all be more careful about our experiences. "Our society, our whole life today is very stressful," he recalls. - And the very way of this life forces us to lock ourselves in a set of emotions that do not contribute to success at work and harmony in the family. But they can not be hidden. They need to be understood, understood and given an outlet. "

Unconscious processes influence the body, the concept of the psychosomatic nature of diseases

Vyacheslav Ianston Vyacheslav Ianston

We can talk about stress as an experience that triggers a purely unconscious mechanism. It affects us so much that various diseases result. It can not be ruled out that oncological as well. Therefore, it is extremely important to learn to recognize the signals of your body, to understand what is happening to you. You need to strive to know yourself better. Self-information, learning about yourself, constant acquaintance with yourself - that's what is needed. Through communication with other people, through an appeal to psychologists, - the means here can be different. And when you have experienced your own condition, understand your emotions, you can already express them, "react", and thereby reduce the accumulated tension and reduce the danger of the disease. There are a lot of ways to respond, it's not necessarily psychotherapy. This is an intimate life, and physical, physical activity - when the body is active, it is itself, automatically triggers the mechanisms of reaction.The main thing is to be aware of what is happening to you, to answer yourself to the question of how you feel.

There are mechanisms that are triggered under stress: they can have to develop mutations

Alexey Maschan Alexey Maschan

These include, for example, activation of calmodulin protein and hyperproduction of reactive oxygen species.

But, in comparison with the influence of other recognized and well-known oncogenic factors, the effect of stress is much weaker and, most importantly, it is not constant. Cancer as a biological phenomenon can not be prevented with the help of prevention, since its appearance is a consequence of the basic laws of the functioning of our genome. The mutational process, in particular, is vital for the formation of an adaptive immune system, without which we would die before the age of five.

It seems to me that the main message is not to stop being nervous (which, firstly, is impossible, and secondly, it will not help anyway), but that there is no direct evidence of the connection between cancer and stress.

1 C. Simonton, S. Simonton "Psychotherapy of Cancer" (Peter, 2001).
Подробнее

Can Stress Cause Cancer?


It is difficult to discuss the relationship between stress and cancer. Firstly, because the topic of oncology in society remains largely taboo, despite the significant progress of recent years, when there were serious and public books on cancer written from the position of patients, not doctors. Secondly, because there is no unanimous opinion on this subject, and supporters of different views often react sharply and painfully to the opinions of their opponents. Thirdly, there is a great danger of frightening or, conversely, giving false hope. And yet such a conversation is necessary, and attempts to start it have been done more than once. For example, the American oncologist Carl Simonton (O. Carl Simonton) in the 1970s was actively interested in the psychological conditions and possible causes of diseases of his patients. His observations are set out in a number of books, for example, Cancer Therapy1, and confirmed by many studies. Nevertheless, the views of Karl Simonton did not become dominant in science and medicine. The French psychologist Ivan Vjart (Yvane Wiart) tried to draw attention to the possible connection between stress and cancer (see more on page 48). She studied hundreds of scientific studies that examined the relationship between stress, personality and health.And I concluded that psychological reasons can be the source of physiological mechanisms that create the prerequisites for cancer. The release of the book by Ivana Vyar Stress and cancer, when our affection plays us a cruel joke2 provoked a violent reaction in the scientific world. Oncologists with world names accused the author of almost quackery. But why, recognizing as a phenomenon of psychosomatics, we are not ready to talk about the possible psychosomatic nature of some oncological diseases?

Objective difficulties

Explanations are many. Even if we assume that the relationship between stress and cancer exists, it must be proved. And it is extremely difficult to do this for a number of quite objective reasons. "We are forced to build connections backdating, already having a diagnosis," notes oncologist psychologist Vyacheslav Ianston. - You can not put a person in a state of "before the illness." So we stay in the field of assumptions. I, like probably any of my colleagues, are able to highlight some of the psychological traits common to my patients. But it is very difficult to say whether they are the cause of cancer, or, conversely, the consequence. "Sophie Gourgou-Bourgade, biostatistics specialist at the Cancer Institute in Montpellier, France, also points to methodological problems: "Cancer is a very delayed event that becomes visible on average 8 years after the onset of the disease. And to organize research that would trace the lives of thousands of people for years is difficult and very expensive. " There are also ethical problems. Scientists no one will allow specifically to introduce volunteers into a state of stress. Especially if this stress can become the cause of cancer in the future. And finally, the very concept of stress is also treated extremely widely. It would be nice to decide for a start with what stress is about speech.

read also "So I heard the diagnosis:" cancer "

Recognizing psychosomatics, we are afraid to apply it to cancer

Ivan Vyar, psychologist Ivan Vyar, psychologist

Employee of the University of Paris. Descartes Ivan Vyar specializes in the study of attachment theory, developed by the British psychoanalyst John Bowlby (John Bowlby). He identified various types of attachment - "safe", "anxious", "avoiding" - each of which corresponds to his own way of coping with stress.Investigating the relationship between the type of person's personality and his health, Ivan Vyar puts forward a hypothesis that the group of risk for oncological diseases includes primarily "alexithymics." They often meet a "avoiding" type of attachment. They are unable to understand, describe and even name their emotions, do not distinguish halftones, divide everything only into "good" and "bad." Thus, they are constantly in a state of psychological stress, and he initiates physiological mechanisms that increase the risk of cancer. But Ivan Vyar warns against hasty interpretations: "It would be wrong to say that personality characteristics cause cancer. In any case, it is primarily caused by physical and chemical processes. "

What stress is dangerous?

"One of the theories of cancer occurrence is that the cells provoking the development of tumors are produced in our body constantly," says oncologist Denis Romanov. - But up to a certain moment the immune system with them successfully copes. However, in a state of stress, when the immune system is weakened, the disease gets chances for development.And it can be both psycho-emotional and physical stress, for example caused by acclimatization. " Arguments in favor of this theory Denis Romanov have repeatedly been observed in the work: patients who successfully completed treatment and returned to a full-fledged life, after suffering stresses, experienced relapses of the disease. "It can not be ruled out that the primary disease can also be associated with the stresses that stress factors exert on immunity," notes Denis Romanov. "For 35 years I have seen thousands of patients and I can not help noticing the majority of them have a psychological drama in the years that preceded the manifestation of cancer," one of the leading French oncologists David Khayat unequivocally states. - Does this mean that everyone who experiences difficult emotional moments, necessarily fall ill with cancer? Of course no. The only point is that in the sequence of events that led to the disease, some elements may not have a physical character (and be associated with harmful habits or environmental factors), but an emotional, spiritual nature. And it's up to each of us to realize this and find a solution to the problem of stress in our lives. "

Vyacheslav Janston fully shares this idea.At the same time, he stresses that psychological stress can also be different. It is one thing - the shock experienced, the grief of loss or a sudden tragic event. And quite another - the accumulation of years of tension associated with the inability not only to express, but often even to realize their experiences. "Oncologists are often called cancer" a disease of unreacted grievances. " It means that negative experiences, having no way out, can at some moment cause a bodily reaction - tumor growth, - he explains. - For example, we for a long time, day in and day out, face stress factors. For example, we suffer because of difficult relationships at work or in the family and we have no way to do anything about it. Such stress, I think, is much more harmful than the stress caused by a sudden tragedy. Because how to cope with injuries, psychology is more or less known. The stages of experiencing grief are described, their mechanism is quite obvious, and after passing through these stages - better, of course, with the help of a psychologist - one can preserve both mental and physical health. But small, accumulating stress is the very case when access to experiences may simply not be. "

Read also The good deeds help with stress David Servan-Schreiber, neuroscientist, psychologist

"I had the weakness to believe that I was already protected by observing some precautions: I watched my food, cycled, meditated, and practiced yoga a little every day. I thought that this gave me the right to ignore the basic needs of my body, such as sleep, a measured rhythm of life and rest. "

"Judging by how my book was read by the readers of Antarak, the advice on nutrition pushed aside other important recommendations. In addition, these tips were the part of the book that was easiest to put into practice: it's easier to start eating fish and red berries than to change your work-related habits or your relationship with your wife. "

Excerpts from the book by David Servan-Shreiber "You can say goodbye many times" (Ripol classic, 2015).

Knockin on yourself

There are other reasons why psychologists and doctors are hesitant to talk about the connection between stress and cancer. One of them is that stating such a connection will frighten a lot of people living in a state of stress and aware of this.This fear is an additional burden on the psyche, and perhaps even on the immune system. There is a vicious circle.

Another problem is that in many cases oncological patients, believing in the psychic nature of their illness, sought the salvation from untraditional healers and shamans, sang mantras and meditated, whereas timely medical intervention would be much more effective. "About a third of my patients associate their illness with stresses or tragic events in life," says Denis Romanov. - Of course, I can neither confirm nor disprove this connection. And I do not mind that they turn to psychologists for help or, for example, go to church. But it is important to do without excesses. The approach to treatment should be comprehensive, and one can not substitute medicine only with psychological methods of work or with spiritual practices. " And yet Vyacheslav Yannston is sure that we should all be more careful about our experiences. "Our society, our whole life today is very stressful," he recalls. - And the very way of this life forces us to lock ourselves in a set of emotions that do not contribute to success at work and harmony in the family. But they can not be hidden. They need to be understood, understood and given an outlet. "

Unconscious processes influence the body, the concept of the psychosomatic nature of diseases

Vyacheslav Ianston Vyacheslav Ianston

We can talk about stress as an experience that triggers a purely unconscious mechanism. It affects us so much that various diseases result. It can not be ruled out that oncological as well. Therefore, it is extremely important to learn to recognize the signals of your body, to understand what is happening to you. You need to strive to know yourself better. Self-information, learning about yourself, constant acquaintance with yourself - that's what is needed. Through communication with other people, through an appeal to psychologists, - the means here can be different. And when you have experienced your own condition, understand your emotions, you can already express them, "react", and thereby reduce the accumulated tension and reduce the danger of the disease. There are a lot of ways to respond, it's not necessarily psychotherapy. This is an intimate life, and physical, physical activity - when the body is active, it is itself, automatically triggers the mechanisms of reaction.The main thing is to be aware of what is happening to you, to answer yourself to the question of how you feel.

There are mechanisms that are triggered under stress: they can have to develop mutations

Alexey Maschan Alexey Maschan

These include, for example, activation of calmodulin protein and hyperproduction of reactive oxygen species.

But, in comparison with the influence of other recognized and well-known oncogenic factors, the effect of stress is much weaker and, most importantly, it is not constant. Cancer as a biological phenomenon can not be prevented with the help of prevention, since its appearance is a consequence of the basic laws of the functioning of our genome. The mutational process, in particular, is vital for the formation of an adaptive immune system, without which we would die before the age of five.

It seems to me that the main message is not to stop being nervous (which, firstly, is impossible, and secondly, it will not help anyway), but that there is no direct evidence of the connection between cancer and stress.

1 C. Simonton, S. Simonton "Psychotherapy of Cancer" (Peter, 2001).
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On the benefits of "bad" emotions


Once I told young colleagues from Sweden about my student years - about how I combined work and study, about inevitable material difficulties then. He told me with laughter, as about obvious things. And suddenly noticed that my colleagues do not laugh and look even confused. One girl even said: "But this is very difficult." It turned out that their experience is very different from mine (they had good scholarships, the opportunity to concentrate completely on the lessons), so they perceived what I was talking about as a very difficult situation. Later I mentioned this case in a conversation with a German professor and lamented: if we had normal learning conditions, everything would have been different in my life. To which he gently objected: "You know, this has its advantages. I'm not sure that Swedish students are ready for what you are ready for. "

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In my practice, I often meet parents who protect their children not only from life's difficulties, but also from experiencing negative emotions. "I read that children should not be upset, it affects the brain," "I do not want to disappoint him, he will still face this in life."Certainly, not every stress is useful. But not everyone is harmful. For our development, the experience of experiencing moderate stresses at an early age is important. And more important is the experience of experiencing negative emotions about this. Cognitive psychotherapist and researcher Robert Leahy (Robert Leahy) developed the concept of sustainable "emotional patterns" *, with which we approach our feelings. It turns out that we treat them differently. Some avoid feelings, they are afraid that they will experience them always and someday feelings will kill them. Others neglect them and rely on the voice of reason. There are those who give them too much importance and splash out wherever possible. And it happens that we do not even know about their existence.

Robert Leahy emphasizes the importance of early experience to form a relationship to his emotions. Imagine a child who ran, fell and hit hard. What will his mother do? In a panic, he will shout: "Call an ambulance!" - or say: "Stop whining so I'll never see it again!" Or just calm down: "It's okay, you hit, cried, happens." On how the mother reacts, the child's attitude to troubles and negative emotions will depend.It is important for him to see that "bad" emotions (fear, anger, sadness) can be expressed without fear and that parents also experience them, but they are able to control them. But the main thing is to learn to cope with stress and overcome difficulties, the child must meet with them! Some situations will help to resolve the parents, but there are some that he will deal with on his own. And it will become stronger from this.

Read also An easy way to cope with a panic attack

* International Journal of Cognitive Therapy, 2012, No. 5 (4).

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Good deeds help with stress


Every day, volunteers received an automatic message on their smartphone, reminding them to send a daily report (also via a smartphone). In the report, they had to indicate which stressful events related to various aspects of life (personal relationships, work or study, household chores, finances, health) occurred during the day. The number of such events showed how stressful this day was for the participant. It was also necessary to indicate whether volunteers had been helped during the day to help someone in something (for example, hold the door, help children with lessons, ask someone if they do not need help).

Volunteers also filled in the abridged version of the questionnaire for positive and negative emotional experiences and had to assess their psychological well-being during the day on a scale of 1 (poor) to 100 (excellent).

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Altruism helps to overcome social phobia

The results of the research showed that, helping others, participants improved their own well-being. And the more good things they did,the more they on average experienced positive emotions and the higher their psychological well-being.

Acts of altruism also helped to cope better with stress. The less often the participant helped others, the more negative emotions he experienced as a result of stress. Those who did good deeds especially often, even with a lot of stressful events during the day, experienced no less positive and no more negative emotions than usual. Stress also did not reduce their psychological well-being.

"We were surprised how strongly and steadily this effect was manifested. For example, if a participant in the study demonstrated pro-social behavior in stressful days for him, stress did not practically affect his positive emotions and only slightly increased the manifestations of negative emotions, "says Emily Ansell.

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Be kind - it's useful!

At the same time, scientists note that further research is needed to find out whether this effect will manifest itself in groups with a large ethnic and cultural diversity. They are also interested in whether altruistic acts can be recommended as a kind of psychotherapy for people who are constantly stressed and who suffer from this depression.

For more details, see E. Raposa et al."Prosocial Behavior Mitigates the Negative Effects of Stress in Everyday Life", Clinical Psychological Science, December 2015.

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Text: Nikolay Protsenko
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